Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 87–103 | Cite as

Responses to accelerated heavy ions of spores ofBacillus subtilis of different repair capacity

  • K. Baltschukat
  • G. Horneck


Inactivation, mutagenesis of histidine reversion and the involvement of DNA repair were studied in spores ofBacillus subtilis irradiated with heavy ions at LBL, Berkeley and GSI, Darmstadt. Five groups of ions (from boron to uranium) were used with residual energies from 0.2 MeV/u up to 18.6 MeV/u; in addition, carbon ions were used with a residual energy of 120 MeV/u. Action cross sections of both inactivation and mutagenesis show a similar dependence on ion mass and energy: for lighter ions (Z ≤ 10), the lethal response is nearly energy independent (Z = 10) or decreasing with energy (Z ≤ 6); these light ions, up to 18.6 MeV/u, induce hardly any mutations. For heavier ions (Z ≥ 26), the lethal as well as the mutagenic responses increase with ion mass and energy up to a maximum or saturation. The efficiency of DNA repair to improve survival and the mutagenic efficiency per lethal event, both, increase with ion energy up to a saturation value which, depending on strain and endpoint, either roughly coincides with the X-ray value or is smaller than that after X-ray treatment. For repair based on recombination events, the increase in the survival effects with ion energy is more pronounced than for that based on repair replication. At energies of 1 MeV/u or below, neither DNA repair nor mutation induction appear to be significant. The results support previous suggestions on the importance of the radial distribution of the energy around the ion track in biological action cross section and the evidence that the entire core of the spore represents the sensitive site in responses to heavy ions.


Boron Uranium Residual Energy Mutation Induction Repair Capacity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Baltschukat
    • 1
  • G. Horneck
    • 1
  1. 1.Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Luft- und RaumfahrtInstitut für FlugmedizinKöln 90Germany

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